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LEBANON, IN-MSI Packaging has hired Duke Realty Corp. to build its new 80,000-square-foot warehouse and manufacturing facility here in the 1,000-acre Lebanon Business Park, which has 6.4 million square feet of industrial property. The project, expected to cost about $4.5 million, will allow the packaging company to own its own facility, going from leasing about 65,000 square feet at Duke’s Park 100, also in the northwest Indianapolis market. The new building will “provide the space we need for our growing operations,” said MSI co-owner Pat Fitzgerald in a statement, “especially as we become more involved in designing returnable and reusable packaging materials.”

The Lebanon park is just off Interstate 65 at the State Road 32 exit. The new MSI property will have space for a possible 40,000 square foot expansion, says Jay Archer, VP of leasing with Duke. The new facility will be a 200-foot deep build-to-suit, with 24-foot clear heights, four dock-high doors and one drive-in door, as well as 6,500 square feet of office. Groundbreaking on the site is scheduled for May 2009, with completion expected in December 2009.

Archer tells GlobeSt.com that the Indianapolis industrial market is still doing well, though the size of the new developments has shrunk from five years ago. He says his firm’s 20-million-square-foot portfolio in the local market is about 96% occupied. “We’ve continued to have good distribution growth. There was a lot of building done in 2006 and early ’07, but that slowed in ’08, and we’ve been backfilling. We were seeing up to 1.2-million-square-foot projects until late 2007, but the momentum this year has been 100,000 square feet to 400,000 square feet,” Archer says.

The company has a few other projects going in the area, including a 553,000 square foot building going up at AllPoints Midwest in February 2009, and another 517,000 square foot building set for construction at AllPoints Anson, as well as a $38 million, 300,000-square-foot facility going up for US Cold Storage Inc. here at the Lebanon park, with a rail requirement opening up another 250 buildable acres.

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